Kejriwal takes on Delhi BJP chief over statehood issue
By denying statehood to the national capital, BJP wants the people of Delhi to remain “second class” citizens, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday, referring to a purported statement by Manoj Tiwari, which the latter denied having made.
The Delhi BJP chief said Kejriwal, in his “hurry” to lodge his opposition, was latching on to a “false report”. The online exchange started with Kejriwal’s tweet: “This is insulting to the people of Delhi. BJP does not want to give Delhiites the rights to be full citizens, want to keep them as second class citizens in their own country.”
Tiwari, who recently replaced Satish Upadhyay as BJP’s Delhi President, tagged Kejriwal in his reply, saying he would send him “the complete video tomorrow”.
“At least listen to the complete statement. Why the hurry in opposing? I will send you the complete video tomorrow. You have latched on to a false report again,” Tiwari tweeted.
Tiwary later said the party was in favour of statehood for Delhi but stressed that there was a need to determine its limits. “The issue of statehood for Delhi was mentioned in our election manifesto. We support statehood, but one should also keep in mind that Delhi is not just the capital of any state, but the entire nation. Therefore, the limits of statehood, especially in light of Kejriwal’s protest in Delhi ahead of Republic Day celebrations in 2014, must be determined,” Tiwari said.
Since storming to power, the Aam Aadmi Party government has repeatedly clashed with the Centre over the contentious issue of granting statehood to Delhi. The government had also a released a draft bill on statehood in May. However, there has been no progress on that front.